Logical Reasoning refers to the act of analysing a situation and inferring correct results thereof. The problem under consideration should be studied objectively, all the clauses, prepositions and their inter-relation should be studied and the conclusion drawn should be rational. It is not analogous to common sense, it is often regarded as critical reasoning tests.
The main agenda behind conducting Logical reasoning tests is to evaluate the candidate’s interpretation skills with respect to patterns, number sequences, relationships, shapes, etc. Logical Reasoning tests are quite similar to diagrammatic tests, abstract reasoning tests, and inductive reasoning tests.
It involves the isolation of unwanted statements and the selection of only reasonable ones. Logical reasoning tests are mainly conducted during the recruitment drives of investment banks, software development companies, MNCs, accountancy & professional services firms, and consulting firms.
Logic Reasoning Problem formulated by three components
1. Passage or Stimulus: The prime arguments or information is deciphered from a piece of text that forms the reference for answering the question. It can be a passage, monoscript, story, a set of statements, etc. Sometimes, you may even notice multiple arguments, if there are multiple speakers.
2. Question or task: The passage or the stimulus is followed by a piece of text that poses a question. For instance, the question might ask you about any of the assumptions made related to the arguments, or the data related to the arguments are coherent or not.
3. Options: Logical Reasoning Problems have multiple choices for answering them, usually, the number of options is four, it might vary according to the question. Sometimes, more than one option can be correct, this is another pattern for asking questions, making the level a bit tougher.
Image Source: Khan Academy
Logic Reasoning questions are quite diverse and can be grouped into four broad categories:
- Verbal Questions: This type of question can be solved without the help of a pen and paper, usually, verbal questions are related to the English language such as grammar, comprehension, order of sentences, etc.
- Diagram-Based Questions: A few images are given in the question and the learner is expected to observe or derive a pattern from them. Mirror images, Water images, or paper folding and cutting-based images are given, and the candidate is expected to find the next correct image of the sequence.
- Puzzle-Based Questions: This includes puzzles such as seating arrangement, seat assignment, or arranging people/things/days/months/places, etc. in specific formats.
- Sequence or Series Questions: In this section, a series or sequence of figures/people/numbers/alphabets, etc. is given, and questions based on them are asked.
Some common Logical Reasoning Domains are Alphanumeric series, Reasoning Analogies, Artificial Language, Blood Relations, Calendars, Data Sufficiency, Decision Making, Deductive Reasoning/Statement Analysis, Embedded Images, Paper Folding and Syllogism.
Why is Logical Reasoning Important?
- Logical Reasoning skills help candidates in improving their decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and setting goals. These personal skills are necessary for building a stable career foundation.
- Most of the companies conduct a Logic Building Analysis round while organising their recruitment drive, to check the mental ability of candidates.
- Usually, the Logical Reasoning round is the preliminary round. Hence, it becomes more crucial to perform well in it for being short-listed for other subsequent rounds.
- The more logic-building questions you practice, the more strongly you can handle everyday workplace challenges.
- For a programmer, it helps in figuring out program logic and analysing the expected time and space complexity of a given problem.
- It helps you emerge as an efficient team leader or project coordinator.
- Logical thinking skills assist in developing hypotheses, and testing the derived hypotheses against known parameters, and finally drawing a conclusion.
- If you are thinking of going for higher studies, then for clearing competitive examinations such as CAT, GATE, GMAT, GRE, etc a fair level of logic-building skill is required even for the pre-round.
Five Steps for Acing Logical Reasoning
Step One: Understanding the terminology
First and foremost, we must understand the terminology used in Logical reasoning. Usually, terms like True, False, AND, OR, NOT, Tautology, Contradiction, and so on. Analogous to any other domain, Logical Reasoning also comes with a chain of terms that you should get familiarised with, in order to solve the problems accurately. If you don’t have a grasp on the terms you won’t be able to even deduce the information from the given passage.
A few terms including Assumption, Conclusion, Premise, Argument, Observation, Inference, form the structure of logical reasoning problems. Master all these terms, before putting your hands into high-level logical reasoning problems.
Step Two: Keen observation of patterns
Candidates need to be mentally prepared, as they are going to come across many patterns that they don’t see in their daily lives. These patterns are given to check their observations and computational skills, and also, their mental ability to sync numbers. Candidates can even make reasonable guesses and then check their validity by substituting values from the given questions.
For example, one of the most asked questions is:
Find the next number of the sequence: 4, 5, 8, 17, 44, 125
The correct option is B as the difference between the adjacent numbers comes from series 1,3,9,27,81. Candidates should be able to quickly derive a pattern among the given numbers to formulate the answer.
Step Three: Practice Regularly
The most important step for mastering logical reasoning is Practice. When it comes to logical reasoning Practice can’t be compromised or substituted. The questions asked in logical reasoning are dynamic, you need to be in regular touch with the concepts so that you don’t forget them. It sometimes becomes difficult to find a question set that you have studied a few months ago in the current papers.
Although some of the common problems can be worked out easily, yet there are a few questions whose difficulty level is higher than the optimum level, these are solved by applying certain special tricks. These tricks are learned or formulated via regular practice.
Step Four: Manage Time Regularly
Logical reasoning assessment is specifically timed, the aspirants exhaust their time very quickly as it involves the application of mind. Hence, time and speed are two integral factors for solving logical reasoning problems. Candidates should maintain a decent pace from the beginning itself so that they don’t leave any questions unattempted.
After completion, a few minutes should be spared for revisiting the difficult or unsolved questions. For achieving this, during the preparation phase, the aspirant needs to be very particular about time-keeping and while problem-solving, the aspirant ought to keep a track of the speed at which he or she has been solving questions and optimise thereof.
Step Five: Training your mind
Logical Reasoning requires a sharp mental ability, usually, it can be achieved through prior experience with a similar kind of situation or by regular mental activities. Candidates should spend some time, solving crosswords, sudokus, playing chess, solving Rubik’s cube, reading mystery novels, and so on. Meditation and regular exercise also help in inducing coordination skills.
Tips to prepare for logical reasoning for competitive exams
There are some quick tips that the candidates can go through, in order to start preparing for upcoming competitive exams :
- Go through the syllabus and set a time frame for completion of each topic. A roadmap is important so that all topics are covered.
- Solve as many questions as possible, go for diverse questions so that you have proper clarity about the tricks to solve them.
- Time Management is really important, as these tests are strictly timed. Go for shorter alternatives while studying.
- While preparing go through last year’s papers or sample questions giving at the company portal, so that you can anticipate the difficulty level of questions.
- You must solve brain teasers or Rubik’s cubes to keep your brain active and in touch with problem-solving.
- Read Mystery novels and try to anticipate the killer or thief, before reading the climax. This will enhance your memorisation and inferring capability.
- Participate in speaking competitions such as Debates, Just a minute speeches as these events teach you how to handle brainstorms, and analyse the situation promptly.
- Develop creative hobbies such as story-writing, quizzing, golf, chess and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most asked topics including water images, finding the odd one out, blood relations, coding-decoding, direction test, seating arrangement problems, puzzles, input-output, syllogism, alphanumeric series, mirror images, correct/incorrect statements, distance problems, and conclusions/argument are included in the logical reasoning syllabus. Usually, for Software Developer companies most of the questions are from the seating arrangement and table operations.
No, nowadays abundant online resources and courses are available to learn Logical reasoning. Studying online will save your transportation time so that you can focus on other subjects as well. However, if you find yourself slow in computation you can take help from a mentor so that he teaches you time management.
Most of the companies have a preliminary logic reasoning test and then only the shortlisted candidates are allowed to appear for the coding round. Companies such as Goldman Sachs conduct a pre-coding round that contains around fifty percent of questions from logical reasoning. All the other Service-based companies such as Infosys, TCS, Cognizant conduct an aptitude analysis round that contains a high number of logical reasoning questions.
Out of eighty questions asked in the TCS NQT exam, thirty are from logical reasoning. If you score well in logical reasoning, then only you have a chance of getting shortlisted for the subsequent interview round.
The advantage of learning from a book is that they have clearly divided sections for each chapter while solving examples and answers. Books are generally available for competitive exams such as CAT, GATE, GRE, GMAT, etc. But, if you are preparing for placement drives of any Multinational Co-operations such as TCS, Infosys, Goldman Sachs, then you can find better and specific content online. The pattern and difficulty level vary from firm to firm, so it is advised to go through the popularly asked questions and prepare accordingly.
Whether you are planning to go for higher studies or seeking a job, logical reasoning is equally essential as the admission assessments or the recruitment assessments both consist of the Logical Reasoning Test. After going through all the steps of learning logical reasoning we understand that time management plays a key role in scoring well in these assessments.
The number of correct questions solved by you matters significantly, therefore, you should always save a few minutes so that you can iterate through all the questions attempted by you, in order to escape marks deduction because of negative marking.
Always stick to the syllabus and the roadmap, do timed problem solving with the help of a time tracker software. You can even take the timed assessments provided by educational websites. Apart, from placements and assessments, logic-building skills assist in personal growth. Hence, you must focus on them.
By Vanshika Singolia